Local farmers disorganised ... and losing
Jamaica's small farmers have still not fully organised themselves into formal purpose-driven groups in order to benefit in a meaningful way from lucrative agro-tourism linkages.
According to members of the local farming fraternity in Hanover, a parish with one of the largest numbers of hotel rooms in the island, while there have been complaints about tourism interests in importing the vast majority of their food supply, much of which can be produced locally, this is not due to an unwillingness on the part of the hotel chains to buy Jamaican.
"This is due, in most cases, to an unwillingness of farmers themselves to form partnerships with each other, to leverage resources to ensure that they are able to consistently supply the tourism sector with farm produce," says Donald Campbell, convenor of the Hanover-based Riverside Farmers Group.
Campbell said there were hotels buying products from abroad but most of the hotels will support local farmers as long as they are consistent ... read